Guilford County’s fiscal 2021-2022 budget included Home and Community Care Block Grant funding for services for seniors and the aging.
The budget includes adult in-home aide, transportation for seniors, adult daycare, social enrichment programs, and nutrition services like home-delivered meals. In that budget, adopted last June, money for those programs was mapped out but changing circumstances now means the county is shifting how some of that money is used.
According to the agenda for the Guilford County Board of Commissioners’ Thursday, April 21 meeting, the board is expected to approve changes that take money planned for transportation services for the elderly and some of the county’s adult day care services, and use it instead on things like in-home meals for seniors and funding programs provided by community service organizations.
“Due to continued effects from the Coronavirus pandemic as well as additional state funding for aging programs,” staff states in a memo to the Board of Commissioners, “there is a need to shift funding within the service providers of the block grant based on actual and anticipated use.”
At the April 21 meeting, the county’s Department of Health and Human Services will call on the board to approve the updated spending plan of “Home and Community Care” grant funding. The board is also expected to increase the county’s current Social Services budget by $359,000 and decrease the current Transportation Department budget by $167,000.
The change will reflect the difference in the original funding plan and the estimated amounts included in the adopted budget – and it will also authorize county staff to “make and approve any necessary adjustments to agency service contracts to reflect the updated funding plan.”
Services that are getting additional funding include senior center operations, Well-Spring’s “Group Respite” program, and Senior Resources’ meals and nutrition programs.
Some Guilford County in-home aide and adult health programs will also get more money.
Conversely, if the board adopts the move as expected, there will be decreased funding for transportation programs for seniors and for some county adult daycare programs.
The block grant funding totals for the elderly for the current fiscal year that started July 1, 2021, and ends on June 30, 2022 – combined with additional funds for similar purposes from the Department of Agriculture – comes to just over $3 million.
According to information provided to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, more than 10,500 seniors in the county benefit from these block grant-funded services.
The senior service providers now working with Guilford County are the Adult Center for Enrichment, Inc. (doing business as Well-Spring Solutions), Emmanuel Senior Enrichment Centers, Community Housing Solutions, Guilford County Social Services, Guilford County Transportation and Senior Resources of Guilford.
The specific list of items expected to be approved Thursday night as part of the county’s shift in needs is as follows:
- Guilford County accepts an additional $192,172 from the state.
- Well-Spring Solutions increases funding for its Group Respite program by $10,000.
- The Guilford County Department of Social Services decreases its Adult Day Care by $30,150, Adult Day Health Care by $46,350, and some high-level in-home services by $69,944.
- Guilford County’s social services department increases some lower-level in-home services by $229,500.
- Guilford County Transportation sees its funding decreased by $150,000.
- The Senior Resources of Guilford Congregate Nutrition program increases by $30,734, the Home Delivered Meals program by $55,034, and Senior Center Operations by $163,348.
The county has received millions of dollars from the COVID relief fund. USE it for these programs instead of the insanity programs that the commissioners typically fund.